A new online hub created by beyondblue will provide advice to gay and bisexual men who are worried their friend or partner may need mental health support.
The Wingmen website offers support to men who want to help their partner or friends but aren’t sure what to say, and was developed by mental health experts.
Sydney resident Simon used the service to find out how he could support his friend who had become distant and distracted.
“Wingmen helped me understand that it was okay for me to talk to my friend to try and get him to be okay without asking for help,” he said.
“It gave me the confidence to start the conversation, and reassured me that I didn’t need to have all the answers.
“Just knowing where he could go to ask for help was enough.”
Between June and December last year, roughly 16,000 people visited the site.
A 2013 Shout Out survey of gay men revealed that 80 per cent of participants had friends living with depression while 75 per cent experienced anxiety themselves.
According to the survey, gay men felt most comfortable turning to other gay men for emotional support but were unsure how to support their friends.
Wingmen was developed by beyondblue and the National LGBTI Health Alliance, and funded by donations from the Movember Foundation.
It is the latest initiative beyondblue has launched to help LGBTI people achieve their best possible mental health and to prevent suicide.
For more information go to the website.
And if you or someone you know needs support, mental health professionals are available 24/7 at the beyondblue support service – 1300 22 4636 or online